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The days of struggling to look good in the rain could be over — thanks to an innovative waterproof showing and hacking jacket with a traditional look.

The jacket is the brainchild of showing producer Victoria Ayling and took two and a half years to develop.

“I’ve been showing for many years and was fed up with wearing a waterproof mac,” said Mrs Ayling. “I was moaning to my husband after being out in the rain at a show one day and he told me to get on and do something about it!”

Research led to a prototype that Surrey-based Mrs Ayling roadtested in the ring last season.

“I wore it to judge at Goring in hailstones and was bone dry at the end of the day,” she said.
Mrs Ayling approached top showing producer Lynn Russell, who will be competing in the jacket on rainy days this year.

“I’m looking forward to trying it,” Lynn told H&H. “There’s nothing worse than being in the ring all day when it’s pouring with rain.”

And Bicester with Whaddon Chase joint-master Polly Portwin added: “If it looks good and does the job, I think it’s interesting, especially if it comes in traditional styles.”

The jacket comprises a waterproof membrane sandwiched between the jacket’s exterior layer and internal lining.

The membrane has previously been used for shooting kit, but it is believed this is the first time the product has been used in formal riding wear.

Jackets, which retail at £300 for a standard ladies’ size, come in tweed or navy and are finished with horn buttons. Each coat is bespoke and the turnaround from placing an order to receiving the jacket is six to eight weeks.

To find out more and to place an order, go to www.jacketsbytorty.co.uk

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (14 April, 2011)